Woman's hands putting a vinyl record on a record player.
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Whether or not you’re new to vinyl or seeking to improve your present setup, try to be conscious that there are two major varieties of turntable: belt drive and direct drive. What’s the distinction? Is one higher than the opposite? We’ve received every thing that you must know.

What Is a Belt Drive Turntable?

Within the case of each belt drive and direct drive turntables, the phrases are describing how the motor drives the platter that the document sits on. Within the case of a belt drive turntable, the identify explains the way it works pretty effectively. A belt is connected to each the motor and the platter, inflicting the motor to spin the platter.

The earliest turntables have been belt-driven, which is a part of why the design is so widespread, however there’s one more reason. The belt, normally constructed from plastic or rubber, doesn’t transmit a lot of the engine noise to the platter. This implies much less motor noise makes its means by means of the stylus and into your audio system.

In fact, varied elements can change how a lot motor noise you get from a belt-driven turntable. For instance, whereas platter weight is vital in belt drive turntables for many causes, one among them is {that a} heavier platter transmits much less motor noise from the belt.

Belt Drive: Execs and Cons

As we’ve already seen above, avoiding motor noise is likely one of the major causes that belt drive turntables are nonetheless so widespread in the present day. This raises the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), making for total higher sound high quality.

As a result of they’re so widespread and since they’re widespread with customers, belt-driven turntables are sometimes extra inexpensive than direct drive turntables. This isn’t an absolute truth, and you may pay 1000’s for both belt pushed or direct drive turntables. Nonetheless, if you wish to begin listening to vinyl data (and you actually ought to) you’ll usually get higher audio efficiency for the worth with a belt drive mannequin just like the Professional-Ject Debut Carbon EVO.

Pro-Ject Debut Carbon EVO
Professional-Ject

Belt drive turntables aren’t good. For instance, they are often vulnerable to pitch variance, because the belt’s grip on the platter might not be good. That is one other case the place a heavier platter is useful, because it maintains momentum and retains pitch fixed.

The belt in a turntable is a put on half, so you need to count on to want to restore or substitute the belt. This takes a very long time, so that you shouldn’t must count on the belt in your turntable greater than each 5 years, and it’s widespread to go far longer. In fact, this relies on how usually you utilize your turntable.

Belt drive turntables have far much less torque than a direct drive turntable. Which means that they take longer to rise up to full pace, however that is hardly ever one thing you’ll really want to fret about. For those who require larger torque, you’ll doubtless desire a direct drive turntable.

What Is a Direct Drive Turntable?

Direct drive as a reputation additionally does an excellent job of describing how this sort of turntable works. Right here, the motor immediately drives the platter, so that is no belt or the rest between the motor and the platter.

Whereas this design appears easy, it wasn’t developed till the late Sixties, when Matsushita-Technics named Shuichi Obata pioneered the design. It wasn’t lengthy earlier than a really particular clientele turned hooked on this sort of turntable design: DJs.

Whereas belt drive turntables wrestle with torque, this doesn’t matter in case you’re listening at house as a result of they nonetheless pace up shortly sufficient. For DJs shortly stopping and beginning data, that prompt pace up was a key function. To today, all DJ-centric turntables are direct drive.

Direct Drive: Execs and Cons

One of many major professionals of the direct drive design is the torque we talked about above. Whereas that is usually solely good for DJs, there are different advantages of direct drive designs which are good for house use.

For starters, a direct drive turntable is less complicated to take care of. There is no such thing as a belt to exchange, and also you don’t have to fret in regards to the belt slipping off the platter whenever you transfer your turntable (consider me, it occurs).

One other profit, albeit extra for DJs, is that weight from the needle or your fingers on the platter is much less of a difficulty. On a belt drive turntable, it will sluggish the platter and decrease the pitch. With a belt drive, the motor has sufficient power to counteract these small adjustments in weight.

Crosley C200
Crosley

Whereas the design is straightforward, motor noise is extra of a difficulty in direct drive turntables. For DJs in a loud membership, this slight motor noise isn’t a lot of a difficulty, although high-quality DJ turntables nonetheless intention to get rid of motor noise. For audiophiles, the slight little bit of hum, which is amplified by the phono preamp, is an enormous annoyance.

Producers have discovered methods to scale back motor noise and convey direct drive turntables into your house, but it surely’s usually not low-cost. Which means that whereas inexpensive direct drive turntables just like the Crosley C200A-BK do exist, they’re not as widespread as belt drive fashions.

Which Kind of Turntable Is Proper for You?

To make it easy, the belt drive turntable is the best choice for most individuals at house. For those who’re simply entering into vinyl, you’ll doubtless need a extra inexpensive turntable, and also you’ll discover extra inexpensive belt drive choices than you’ll direct drive choices.

That stated, nice direct drive turntables aimed on the house market do exist, and whereas they are often costly, there are inexpensive fashions as effectively. For those who’re bored with messing with free DJ apps and need to transfer to an precise turntable, you’ll positively need a direct drive mannequin.

When it comes all the way down to it, there are many different elements in your turntable you need to take note of, beginning with the way it sounds to you. Let the options that matter most to you select a turntable for you, or cheat by looking at our favorites.

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